By Neha Gargi Last Updated:
Among numerous other things, a wedding is also about traditions and rituals. Nearly every aspect of a wedding has some sort of significance attached to it, whether it is applying haldi to the bride and the groom, or pledging marriage vows around the Agni. Some of these traditions might seem trivial, but in reality, they are done for a purpose.
Vidaai is one such ceremony in a Hindu wedding where you can witness the newlywed bride throw handfuls of rice over her head once she has said her goodbyes. While to many it may seem like a wastage of grain, there is actually a beautiful meaning to the popular tradition of throwing rice during vidaai. Read on to know why an Indian bride throws rice during vidaai.
Vidaai translates to “Goodbye” in English and this is what the ceremony is all about. After her final goodbye, while stepping out of the threshold of her house, the bride throws back three or five handfuls of rice, often mixed with coins and flowers, over her head. Her parents and relatives spread out their pallu or aanchal to collect the grains thrown by her. After that, the bride proceeds towards her doli or car, without looking back.
Among Hindus, daughters are considered to be the manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi. Her being in the house is a sign of wealth and prosperity. When the daughter gets married and leaves her parents’ house, she throws back rice as a symbol of reassurance to them. It means that despite leaving behind her home, she will continue to pray for their material and spiritual prosperity.
The rice throwing tradition is also another way for the bride to symbolically thank her parents for everything they did for her since childhood.
As the bride steps into her new life, she throws rice to ward off evil and leave all negativity and spiritual debts behind her.
Whether it’s the west or the east, rice is probably the one staple that transcends cultures and is often an intrinsic part of weddings. In the west, a newlywed couple is showered with rice to bless them with prosperity, fertility and good fortune. Similarly, in India, rice is used extensively in Hindu weddings. But, why rice?
Rice is a staple of the Indian diet and because of its basic life-sustaining qualities, rice is a potent symbol of auspiciousness, prosperity and fertility. And it is also thought to ward off evil, thus a perfect choice for the tradition!
No matter how archaic, certain traditions are worth incorporating into your wedding to make it special. Would you be including the age-old tradition of throwing rice into your big day? Share with us.